Libya: Whose Land is it?

The London-based Legatum Institute will host a panel discussion to launch a new Transitions Forum paper that examines Libyan politics and economics.

Four years after the uprising that deposed Qaddafi, Libya’s elected government controls just a fraction of the country. A rival rump government sits in the capital, and the Islamic State is gradually making its presence known.

Weapons abound, militias do as they please, and the oil-rich nation is nearly broke. Why did Libya’s transition go so terribly wrong?

In a new Transitions Forum paper, Libya: Whose Land is it?, Mary Fitzgerald and Tarek Megerisi take a step back from the current fighting and explore some of the deep-rooted reasons why the past four years have been so difficult.

Looking at housing, land, and property issues, their paper tells a much bigger story: that of profound grievances, administrative chaos and economic imbalances which have hampered the reconstruction of Libya since 2011.

Of course the current fighting must stop, but there will be no long-term stability until Libya finds a way to deal with its past, and talk about its future.

To launch this new paper, Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum, will moderate a discussion on what can be learned from the past four years in Libya with Mary Fitzgerald, Tarek Megerisi, and Rhodri Williams, a rule of law expert with experience in transitional justice and property rights issues in fragile and post-conflict settings.


  • Mary Fitzgerald, journalist and analyst; co-author of the report
  • Tarek Megerisi, political analyst and consultant; co-author of the report
  • Rhodri C. Williams, Rule of Law Program Manager, International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC)


  • Anne Applebaum, Director of the Transitions Forum, Legatum Institute


  • Thursday, 16 April 2015, 18:00—19:30 (arrival from 17.45), followed by a drinks reception
  • Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street, London, W1J 5DW
  • Attendance is by invitation only. For enquiries, please contact Emily Callaghan
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